That's right, it's been more than FIVE decades since New Jersey voters sent a Republican senator to the upper chamber of the national legislature. That man was U.S. Sen. Clifford Case who was elected to a fourth term in 1972.

Of course, in classic Jersey style, some Republicans were not happy with the policy positions of the liberal Republicans and he faced a strong challenge in the primary ahead of his expected re-election to a fifth term. The fifth term never materialized as Reagan speechwriter Jeff Bell mounted a challenge and successfully defeated the four-term giant who spent 33 years as a member of the national legislature.

It was a great victory from the perspective of the voters who today seem to feel that their objections go unheard by the powers in office. The challenge was that Bell went on to defeat in the general as the Democrats nominated a famous NBA player, Bill Bradley who spent a career winning over local fans as a member of the New York Knicks. Bradley's win in 1978 started a trend of Democrats winning general elections over the past five decades.

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Bill Bradley (Getty Images file)

Could this be the year that the Republicans elect a United States senator for the first time since Clifford Case won his fourth term in 1972?

Two leading candidates on the GOP side who are battling for the nomination are hoping to change New Jersey history. Sen. Bob Menendez has certainly helped the GOP case with the scandal over gold bars, a new car, and cash that has led to several indictments relating to bribery and corruption accusations.

U.S. Sen. Bob Mendendez. (AP Photo fil)

The Democrats look like they will be settling on far-left-wing politician Andy Kim, but without the benefit of incumbency, the race could be in play.

Both Republican candidates joined me on the air last week. I booked it originally for a preview of a scheduled debate last Wednesday night. Despite candidate Curtis Bashaw declining to participate in the debate with his opponent Christine Serrano Glassner, I had them on to discuss the state, the election, and the differences between the two aspiring Republicans.

You can listen to the conversation with Curtis here:

Listen to the conversation with Christine here:

If you are a Republican, make sure you learn about the candidates and vote. If you are an unaffiliated voter, YOU CAN VOTE IN THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY. That's right, show up on Election Day and ask for a GOP ballot, if you change your affiliation by April 10, you can vote by mail in the primary.

Election 2020 South Carolina Primary

Remember, you can just show up at a polling place and declare you want a primary ballot, then you can change back the very next day to unaffiliated.

Remember, if you want to have "one less idiot" on the November ballot in 2024 and again in 2025, join me and vote in the Republican primary.

The Democrats have been in charge in New Jersey since 2001 and it's time to create some productive balance in our state. We need to elect some "common sense Republicans" if we are going to end the sanctuary state, support our infrastructure, make our communities safe, support our first responders and teachers, and restore parental rights and choice in education.

LOOK: Counties with the highest unemployment in New Jersey

Stacker compiled a list of the counties with the highest unemployment in New Jersey using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Counties are ranked by unemployment rate in November 2023.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own.

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